Record review & play displays

By default the EOS 5D Mark III provides a two second review display immediately after the shot is taken, this can be disabled or extended to 4 or 8 seconds or as long as you hold the shutter release button. During record review you can press the erase button to cancel / erase the current image. Record review and play share the same display modes, just press the INFO button to select between the four available modes (see below).

Display modes

There are four display modes available in record review / play, you can also optionally enable 'Highlight alert' (blinking highlights) and / or 'AF point display' in the play menu.

1: Large image, no information 2: Large image + status line (aperture, shutter speed) + image number
3: Small image + status line + lum. histogram + detailed shooting info. You can define in the playback menu if you would like to see the RGB or luminance histogram. This setting will be the same for the histogram in live view shooting mode. 4: Small image + status line + lum. histogram + RGB histogram + detailed shooting info

Play magnification

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the magnification button and the top dial to zoom in and out. There are 15 steps of magnification. You can define the initial magnification after pressing the magnification button in the play menu. You can also define if you prefer to zoom in to the center of the frame or the chosen focus point. The latter allows you to quickly check focus at the touch of a button. If you set the OK-button to magnify you don't have to change your hand position to check focus.

Play thumbnail index

The 5D Mark III provides two levels of thumbnail index, the initial view being a four image 2x2 index, turn the top dial further to the left to switch to a nine image 3x3 index. You can use the multi-controller or quick command dial to move around images or the main dial to jump images (ideal if you have the 'screen' jump mode selected).

Side-by-side playback modes

The playback mode for side-by-side comparison of images is an all-new feature on the EOS 5D Mark III. That said, it's not the first time we've seen such a thing - indeed it bears more than a passing resemblance to Pentax's version introduced on the K20D - but Canon's implementation is arguably more easily accessible and flexible.

When in playback mode you press the Picture Style button to access the side-by-side mode. You can select an image for each 'window', switch between windows by pressing the SET button and drag and magnify each image individually. By pressing the Q-button you can lock the magnification level and position between the two images which is very useful for comparing compositions and checking sharpness and focus. You can also see the histograms side-by-side. In combination with the RATE button (see below), this allows you to assess and rate your images without a computer - in a preliminary fashion at least.

You can compare focus between two images... ...or at different points in the same image.
It's also possible to check focus and composition of a single image. Basic exposure information can be displayed for both images.
The active AF point can be displayed, along with an alignment grid Alternate cropping guides can be shown too - here 1:1 (square) format.
Rounding off the display modes are a couple of histogram options, either luminance... ...or RGB, depending upon your preference (set in the playback menu).

Image rating

Images and movies on the 5D Mark III can be rated using the RATE-button. When viewing an image in playback mode you simply press the button 1 to 5 times to give an image the corresponding star rating. It's a good way of filtering your images on the go and can save you some time at your home work station. In the playback-menu you can set the 'Image Jump' function to only display rated images, the same can be done for slide-shows. You can sort images by rating in Canon's Digital Photo Professional software. Ratings are also displayed in the Windows Vista and Windows 7 image viewers.